Carlethia “Carlee” Russell (Photo: Hoover Police Department Twitter account)
Carlee Russell appears to have been fired from her job at an Alabama spa after concerns over her potentially being abducted appear to have been unfounded. Stewart Rome, owner of the Woodhouse Spa in Birmingham told the New York Post “It was really devastating for them thinking a co-worker was abducted,” Rome said. “As the information came out that there were some questionable things, we’ve been a little pissed off, mainly because so many people took so much time out to search.” Russell’s story gained national attention and was picked up by outlets like CNN and ABC News after she allegedly saw a toddler on the side of an Alabama highway and disappeared.
In the past few days, many have questioned her account of events, including the investigators assigned to her case. Russell’s account of being held by two captors and being fed Cheez-Its was met with suspicion. Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said in a press conference “I do think it’s highly unusual the day that someone gets kidnapped that seven hours, eight hours before that, that they’re searching the internet, Googling the movie Taken about an abduction,” Derzis said. “I find that very strange.”
Derzis also hints that there were other internet searches that hint at Russell’s state of mind, but the police are not releasing those due to respect for her privacy. Social media has been relentlessly mocking Russell since news broke that confirmed users’ suspicions that she had fabricated the story. Most notable, however, is that the search for Russell involved the family of a local woman who was murdered, Aniah Blanchard. Blanchard’s father told WVTM 13 News:” It does open up wounds because our daughter was taken. And as a father, you know, your daughter is your pride and joy,” said Blanchard. “I mean, really that’s your baby girl, and it touched home a lot, and you know, to kind of find out later that, you know, Carlee returns home with really no justification of what happened.”
Source: Black Enterprise